It’s been 7 years since I had my first experience with Rails. Back in 2009 the version was 2.3.x (I’d guess 2.3.5, but not sure) and managing gems during that time was such a pain. Since then we got many different versions with features, bug fixes, security and performance improvements (yes, per-for-mance, if you’re still one of those skeptical haters that think Rails can’t perform/scale).
Last June 30 version 5.0 was released and it has few interesting features.
- Action Cable: A brand new framework for WebSockets. If you need to keep a connection open between a Web client and the server, that can be very handy. It’s definitely worth to take a look at.
- Puma: Instead of Webrick the development environment now comes with Puma.io server by default. Personally, I was never a big fan on Webrick. Making Puma the default server turns the development environment more professional and in case you need other devs accessing your env, it becomes less painful.
- Turbolinks 5: New version of Turbolinks. Great feature since developing mobile versions is a requirement for pretty much any app.
- API mode: This is the cherry on the cake, IMO. Creating a RESTful API skeleton has never been so straightforward. If you need only a backend app to respond some REST calls spitting JSON, that’s the way to go. By providing the –api parameter (rails new backend –api) you can create a basic backend app structure.
Give it a try and spend some time playing with it. Further sources can be found at the official page.